Archive for the ‘Defense Trade Controls’ Category

Failing to Keep Current with Classifications Leads to Civil Penalty for NJ-based Company

Monday, October 16th, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

By: Ashleigh Foor

During the second week of September, Bright Lights USA, a Barrington, NJ-based company, received a $400,000 civil penalty from the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) for exporting unauthorized defense components and technical data, which violates the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

Bright Lights notified DDTC of two ITAR violations in voluntary self-disclosures filed with the agency in April 2013 and June 2016.

Bright Lights failed to stay current with the former Obama administration’s Export Control Reform (ECR) regarding  the transition of ITAR-related commodities/technology from the State Department’s US Munitions List to the Commerce Control List. The wrong commodity jurisdiction was selected and resulted in export violations for both the physical export of the items and the illegal transfer of technology made by the company.

Want to make sure your company is staying compliant? We have an upcoming webinar on classifications:

EAR Hardware and Materials Classifications: Learning By Doing

Practice Makes Perfect—A Two-Part Webinar that Combines Hands-On Exercises, Discussions, and Instruction. October 25, 2017 & November 8, 2017

Repeal of Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation’s Statutory Debarment

Monday, October 16th, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

By: Ashleigh Foor

As of July 12, 2017, the statutory debarment of Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation has been lifted and the company reinstated, according to the Department’s authorities under the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

In June 2012, Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation plead guilty to violating the AECA (US District Court, District of Connecticut, 12-CR-146-WWE), making the company statutorily debarred in accordance with section 120.1 of the ITAR with certain exceptions, pursuant to section 127.7(b). Section 38(g)(4) of the AECA, 22 U.S.C. 2778(g)(4) prohibits any party that has violated the AECA from issuing export licenses or other approvals for the export of defense articles or services. The notice debarring Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation in all its locations was published in the Federal Register July 6, 2012.

According to section 127.7 of the ITAR, a statutory debarment may be repealed once appropriate US agencies concur that the violating company has taken appropriate steps to alleviate any law enforcement concerns. The Department of State consulted with other US agencies and concluded that Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation has appropriately addressed the causes of violations and mitigated any law enforcement concerns.

Effective July 12, 2017, the statutory debarment is removed and Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation may now participate in any activities subject to the ITAR , in accordance with section 38(g)(4) of the AECA and sections 127.7(b) and 127.11(b) of the ITAR.

House Budget Committee Proposes Moving BIS to State

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: U.S. House Budget Committee Report)

The following is an excerpt (pages 49-50) from the U.S. House Budget Committee, Building a Better America: A Plan for Fiscal Responsibility.

Building a Better America recommends a different path for the Department of Commerce.

Our budget supports the recent Presidential directives established by the Trump Administration to combat the regulatory burden placed on manufacturers and streamline the permitting review and approval processes. The Memorandum on Streamlining Permitting and Reducing Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing (“Memorandum on Manufacturing”) provides for stakeholder engagement and feedback from the nation’s domestic manufacturers, in an effort to highlight unnecessary regulatory burdens and other administrative policies, practices, and procedures that inhibit economic growth and job creation. Our budget makes the following recommendations:

* Eliminate Corporate Welfare Programs in the Department of Commerce. Subsidies to businesses distort the economy, impose unfair burdens on taxpayers, and are especially problematic given the federal government’s fiscal situation. Programs under consideration for elimination could include the following:

  • The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Program. This program subsidizes a network of nonprofit extension centers that provide technical, financial, and marketing services for small and medium-size businesses. The private market generally provides these services. The program, which was supposed to be self-supporting, derives two-thirds of its funding from non-Federal sources.
  • The International Trade Administration [ITA]. This Department of Commerce agency provides trade-promotion services for U.S. companies. The fees it charges for its services do not cover the costs. Businesses can obtain similar services from state and local governments and the private market. Congress should eliminate the ITA or require it to charge for the full cost of these “Trade Promotion Authority” services.
  • The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. This program, previously known as the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia, provides federal grants to support research for commercial technology and manufacturing. As stated in the Heritage Foundation’s The Budget Book: “Businesses should not receive taxpayer subsidies; these long-lived and unnecessary subsidies increase federal spending and distort the marketplace. Corporate welfare to politically connected corporations should end.”

 

* Eliminate Overlap and Consolidate Necessary Department of Commerce Functions Into Other Departments. Since its establishment in 1903, the Commerce Department has expanded in size and scope to include many activities better suited at other agencies. The Department of Commerce and its various agencies and programs are rife with waste, abuse, and duplication. This budget recommends the following dissolution, delegation of authority, and consolidation measures:

  • Consolidate National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration functions into the Department of the Interior;
  • Establish the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as an independent agency;
  • Eliminate the International Trade Administration; o Delegate trade enforcement activities to the International Trade Commission;
  • Consolidate the Bureau of Industry and Security into the Department of State;
  • Eliminate the Economic Development Administration;
  • Consolidate trade adjustment activities within the Department of Labor, which has a duplicate program;
  • Consolidate the Minority Business Development Agency into the Small Business Administration;
  • Consolidate the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Technical Information Services within the National Science Foundation; o Consolidate the National Telecommunication and Information Administration into the Federal Communications Commission as an independent agency; and
  • Consolidate the United States Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis into the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

State/DDTC Posts Policy FAQ Update

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: State/DDTC)

DDTC has posted a Policy FAQ Update (June 2017). The content of the document is included below.

Update to Policy FAQs

Q: Does saving ITAR controlled technical data on the cloud constitute an export per ITAR § 120.17?

A: A cloud service provider’s receipt of effectively encrypted technical data uploaded by the U.S. owner, stored and managed on a cloud service network consisting of only U.S.-based servers, administered only by U.S. persons, and appropriately configured to enable the U.S. technical data owner to control access to such data does not constitute an export under the ITAR.

Post Location: here – Under “Technical Data”

 

Q: Are public universities eligible to use the ITAR § 125.4(b)(9) exemption?

A: If a public university is incorporated under applicable U.S. or state laws, such public universities are eligible to use the ITAR § 125.4(b)(9) exemption.

Post Location: here – Under “Exemptions”

 

Q: Which office (DDTC or RSAT) should a foreign end user contact if they are not certain of the original procurement method of a defense article (FMS or DCS) and is seeking a third party transfer or reexport/retransfer authorization?

A: Where a foreign end user is not certain of the original procurement method, RSAT is the appropriate office for the foreign end user to submit a request (PM_RSAT-TPT@state.gov). In such cases, RSAT will process the request and coordinate with DDTC. Information on RSAT and the third party transfer process can be found here. Whether for RSAT or DDTC, to facilitate adjudication of the request, we ask that the foreign end user provide a best-faith statement as to what it believes to be the original acquisition method (i.e., via DCS or FMS), a summary of steps taken to investigate the acquisition of the article(s), and any other information that may be helpful.

Post Location: here– Under “Retransfer”

 

Q: Is the term “at the company’s facilities” in ITAR § 120.39(a)(2) include only a company’s headquarters, or also includes travel to other facilities?

A: If a contracted employee is employed ordinarily at their company’s facilities, they may also provide services for the company’s clients outside the company’s facilities. Such activities are within the definition of a regular employee in ITAR § 120.39(a)(2).

Post Location: here – Under “Terminology”

 

Q: What is meant by “commercial invoice” in ITAR § 123.9(b)(1)?

A: The term “commercial invoice” references the document that moves with the freight.

Post Location: here – Under “Automated Export System”

 

Update References to ITAR § 124.16 (Either Remove or Change Reference Instead to § 126.18(d)) here.

(1) Remove FAQ Entirely: Can a foreign party choose to use § 126.18 for an individual that qualifies for § 124.16? (weblink)

(2) Update References Instead to § 126.18(d)): Can § 124.16 [change to “§ 126.18(d)”] be used to authorize dual/third country nationals of § 124.16 [change to “§ 126.18(d)(2)”] countries employed by the applicant or other US Signatories to the Agreement? (weblink)

(3) Update Reference Instead to § 126.18(d)): When an agreement involves the transfer of classified defense articles, can § 124.16 [change to “§ 126.18(d)”] still be used to authorize dual/third country nationals access to only unclassified defense articles associated with the agreement? (weblink)

(4) Remove FAQ Entirely: Per § 124.12(a)(10) “This agreement (does/does not) request retransfer of defense articles and defense services pursuant to § 124.16.” Should this statement include a reference to technical data? (weblink)

 

New Blue Lantern FAQs

Post Location: New Subheading “Blue Lantern Program” here.

 

Q: What is the Blue Lantern program?

A: Established in 1990, the Blue Lantern program monitors the end-use of defense articles, technical data, services, and brokering activities exported through commercial channels and subject to Department of State licenses or other approvals under section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) (22 U.S.C. 2778) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (22 CFR Parts 120-130).

 

Q: Is end-use monitoring mandated by U.S. law?

A: Yes. The Blue Lantern program fulfills those requirements stipulated in section 40A of the AECA (22 U.S.C. 2785) and delegated to the Department of State in Executive Order 13637.

 

Q: What does the Blue Lantern program entail?

A: Blue Lantern end-use monitoring includes pre-license, post-license, and post-shipment checks to verify the bona fides of foreign consignees and end-users, confirm the legitimacy of proposed transactions, and provide reasonable assurance that 1) the recipient is complying with the requirements imposed by the United States Government with respect to use, transfers, and security of defense articles and defense services; and 2) such articles and services are being used for the purposes for which they are provided.

 

Q: Who manages the Blue Lantern program?

A: The Blue Lantern program is managed by the Regional Affairs and Analysis Division (RAA), Office of Defense Trade Controls Policy (DTCP), Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), Bureau of Political- Military Affairs (PM) at the U.S. Department of State. Generally, checks are conducted by Department of State personnel working from U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide.

Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing Sensitive Military Documents from United Technologies and Exporting Them to China

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017 by Danielle McClellan

By: Danielle McClellan

Yu Long, 38, a citizen of China and permanent resident of the US, plead guilty on December 19, 2016 to one count of conspiracy to engage in the theft of trade secrets as well as one count of unlawful export and attempted export of defense articles from the US. Long worked as a Senior Engineer/Scientist at United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) from May 2008 to May 2014 where he worked on F119 and F135 engines. During this time Long always intended to return to China to work on research projects at state-run universities in China using the knowledge and materials he was acquiring at UTRC. During 2013 and 2014, Long was recruited by Shenyang Institute of automation (SIA), of China, where he substantiated claims that he could provide documents from his work at UTRC and examples of projects on which he worked.

On May 30, 2014, Long left URTC and began travelling back and forth between the US and China with a UTRC external hard drive that he unlawfully retained after his employment ended. On November 7, 2014, Long was arrested, two days after he attempted to board a plane to China with sensitive, proprietary and export controlled documents from Rolls Royce, not URTC. His checked baggage was inspected by CBP officer in Newark, NJ, where the hard drive was found with all of the proprietary, export controlled information.

After his digital media was seized it was found that he had voluminous files protected by the ITAR and EAR, as well as files proprietary to UTRC, Pratt, and Rolls Royce. UTRC confirmed that the hard drive that he stole and accessed in China contained not only documents and data from projects long worked on, but also from projects that he did not work on. It was found that he obtained Pratt and Rolls Royce proprietary information from a project that the US Air Force had convened a consortium of major defense contractors to work together to see if they could collectively lower the costs of specific metals used.

A sentencing date has not been set but Long faces a maximum term of imprisonment for 15 years for the theft of trade secrets charge and 20 years of imprisonment for violated the Arms Export Act.

More Information: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/chinese-national-admits-stealing-sensitive-military-program-documents-united-technologies

DDTC Posts IT Modernization Webinar: Commodity Jurisdiction

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: State/DDTC)

The webinar presented October 14, 2016 regarding the upcoming deployment of Defense Export Control and Compliance System (DECCS) Release 1 is available for review. The webinar provided a brief overview of the status of the IT Modernization effort and a demonstration of the new Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) (DS-4076) interface.

Click here to read
Recorded webinar
Presentation slides

State/DDTC No Longer Accepts CJ Submission through EFS

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: State/DDTC)

Effective Wednesday, November 16th at 5PM EST, The Department of State will no longer use the Electronic Form Submission (EFS) application to accept Commodity Jurisdiction (CJ) (DS-4076) applications. Beginning Monday, November 21st at 8AM EST users will submit CJ applications via the Defense Export Control and Compliance (DECCS) CJ application.

DDTC Posts Schedule for Uploading Licensing Submissions and Posting Licenses

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: State/DDTC)

Effective September 6, 2016, The Department of State will only be uploading licensing submissions (i.e., DSP -5, -6, -61, -62, -73, -74, and Batch Scheams) and posting licenses (Approved, Approved with Provisos, RWA’ed, and Denied) at 06:30 AM and again at 5:30 PM.

DDTC Posts Revision 4.4a of the Agreement Guidelines

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

(Source: State/DDTC)

Revision 4.4a of the Agreement Guidelines has been posted and replaces Revision 4.4.

Revision 4.4a corrects an inadvertent omission on page 152. Both Revision 4.4a and a preamble with a summary of changes can be found here. Revision 4.4a is effective September 1, 2016.

Pakistani National Extradited and Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison for Conspiracy to Export Gyroscopes to Pakistan

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016 by Danielle McClellan

By: Danielle McClellan

Syed Vaqar Ashraf (71) of Lahore, Pakistan (also known as Vaqar A. Jaffrey) was sentenced to 33 months in prison after being extradited from Belgium on July 31, 2015. According to court documents, in June 2012 Ashraf began asking a Tucson-based company, who shall remain nameless, for price quotes for unmanned aerial vehicles (drones). The company specializes in the design, development, and manufacturing of drones for the US military. The company immediately tipped off Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) agents about Ashraf’s requests.  HSI quickly assigned special agents to work undercover as employees of the Tucson-based company and they began dialoging with Ashraf directly.

From June 2012 to August 2014, Ashraf negotiated with special agents. He represented himself as the head of I&E International, based in Lahore, Pakistan.  Most of the correspondence was done via email where he agreed to purchase 18 gyroscopes that were intended to help medium-sized drones fly longer distances as well as 10 optical receiver modules and laser diodes intended to be installed in the aircraft for approximately $440,000.

In September 2013, HSI agents met with Ashraf in Vienna, Austria to work out details regarding the sale. Ashraf explained during the meeting that Pakistan’s nuclear program had been developed using technology exported from the west without a license. This led the agents to believe that Ashraf was working for Pakistan’s Advanced Engineering Research Organization and the intended use for the electronics was for the Pakistani military UAV program.

From January to March 2014 Ashraf asked agents for suggestions to get around the US export controls after agents requested a license from the Commerce Department and were told that the items would require a special license because the optical receive modules could be used in “activities related to nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons or missile delivery systems.” Ashraf asked if there were any alternative descriptions that would appear to cover the items on documents, but would clear arms control hurdles from State and Commerce departments.  Secret agents offered Ashraf with a few different descriptions and asked him if the customer was aware that transaction was “being done without a license.” Ashraf told the agents that they (customer) were “absolutely aware of everything.” Later in an email, Ashraf wrote, “He (customer) is well aware that he cannot get these gyros in a normal way; he’s well aware of that.” The ultimate plan was to transship all of the items; they would be shipped to Pakistan through Belgium.

HIS agents met with Ashraf three more times in face-to-face meetings, including one in the US where they agreed on a series of wire transfers, including one for $67,000. On August 26, 2014 agents set up a final meeting with Ashraf in Belgium to deliver some of the technology. Before the meeting began Belgian police showed up and arrested Ashraf. A little less than a year later Ashraf was extradited to the US to face trial on charges of conspiracy to export defense controlled items without a license which he later pled guilty to.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/pakistani-national-extradited-and-sentenced-attempting-export-sensitive-technology-pakistani